Thursday, August 5, 2010

Reduce your RISK with BEST practice

This month I have been collecting requests to be sent to you to keep you out of trouble.

Jan Fite MillerCMA's: The first came from one of our Cendera Loan Officers, Brian Tarbet, who strongly suggested a reminder to all of you that your CMA, Comparative/competitive Market Analysis, be updated at least every 60 days. Why should we do this? In service to our Seller, we need to make sure that the property is competitive so that it will continue to be shown. What new closings have occurred? Have the prices taken a drastic turn for the worse or maybe it was an increase-it happens both ways. If we have a current CMA, then we don't have to worry about the appraiser finding comps. WE can again, at the least, supply to him what we have and what we used when we meet him/her for the appraisal. I also suggest strongly that you, the listing agent, physically meet the appraiser, so that you can give him/her your comps and hopefully he/she will agree with your figures.

FILE DOCUMENTATION: It is more important than ever. I had warned you months ago that in a rough economic time, humans start playing the blame game and lawsuits or just gripes against REALTORS become more prevalent. It is happening and that is how I find out that the condition of our files is BAD. There is a minimal checklist at the bottom of every sales control sheet. The completed checklist should be the fewest items in a file that the office will keep for 7 years. Our attorney wants more -- from your post-it-notes to the survey. Would you believe that we have a lawsuit to defend with no signed Seller Disclosure? Do you think we can win that one? How about another with no IABS? That is state law; where is it? PLEASE, put everything related to the property IN the file. Turn in your file promptly so that manager and staff can help keep YOU out of trouble. I don't want a CDA produced until everything applicable on the checklist is in the file.

IABS and SUB-AGENCY: Somehow this has become a question lately. I ask in the MCE Legal & Ethics classes if anyone sees sub-agency anymore and all have said no, but it still evidently needs to be addressed. We, as a company, are hired by Sellers to sell properties. I do not feel that any Buyer should be ignored, even if their agent is doing a poor job, so we have never turned away or refused to pay a "sub-agent." However, I am not condoning our agents ever being sub-agents. When you have the IABS signed at your first face to face meeting and you explain agency, you should offer the potential client their own representation and educate them of the benefits to them. I would then encourage you to treat this customer as a client until you have him/her agree to that representation in writing with signatures on either the listing agreement or the buyer rep agreement. We may occasionally receive an offer from a sub-agent. Our job is to present the offer and make it work. If we do, we will pay that sub-agent. If the other agent is a sub-agent, you should be able to get more detailed information about his/her client because his/her loyalty is actually to our Seller. C21 Judge Fite agents should ALWAYS represent fully their own clients.

INSPECTORS: Some of the inspectors are creating some national unrest in their relationships with REALTORS accusing us of steering. For your own protection, hand a C21JF HOME GUIDE to your Buyers so that they have several, not just 3, inspectors to choose. Suggest strongly that they call several and talk to them individually so that the Buyers can feel comfortable with their choice. Please and...

Be careful out there and sell lots of real estate.

Jan Fite Miller
CENTURY 21 Judge Fite Company

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